Very recently, the Trump administration said that this week, he will be meeting with leaders in the video game industry to see what can be done about violence in video games. This is a rhetoric that gamers have been facing for years. Honestly, it’s nothing new.
Back in 1994, the ESRB was created. For those of you who you don’t know, the ESRB is the board that rates video games, similar to the ratings a movie gets from the MPAA. The system was basically created due to one game: Mortal Kombat. Parents were angry because of the very graphic fatalities to finish your opponent. I thought it was dumb at the time. Now I’m 20+ years older and I see the need. In case you’re not familiar, here is the rating system, and I’ve added the MPAA movie rating equivalent.
- E (G) – Everyone
- E 10+ (PG) – Everyone over the age of 10
- T – Teen (PG13) – Not suggested for anyone under 13
- M – Mature (R) – Not suitable for anyone under 17
- A – Adults Only (NC17) – Fairly self-explanatory, very graphic content. Very few games fall into this category
These ratings need to be displayed on every single video game sold here in the US. This rating system actually works fairly well. I’ve been a store manager at GameStop and they were very strict on this policy. Matter of fact, I was just at my local GameStop, where a kid trying to buy an “M”-rated game. His mom wasn’t with him, just his older (not 18) sister. The clerk apologized and refused to sell him that game until his mom could come in and say it was okay to buy.
The Trump Meeting?
My point is video games aren’t to blame for these recent tragic events, and they never were. Here’s the worst part of this story. The ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has NOT been invited to this meeting with President Trump. I won’t list all the members of the ESA, but they include Capcom, Activision/Blizzard, Disney Interactive Studios, EA, Microsoft, Nintendo, PlayStation, and Ubisoft. If you want to see the full list of members you can go here. The list literally reads like a who’s who in the video game industry. The ESA says that neither they or any of their members have been invited to this meeting, which is supposed to take place this week.
It’s unfortunate that the video game industry is always the scapegoat when something horrible happens. Something has to be done. I think the majority of us (and countless studies) can agree that video games are not the problem though. What do you think? Do you think more regulations on violence in video games would help? Or do you think President Trump is simply placing blame incorrectly? Let us know in the comments. We would love to hear what you think!